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Tested by fire

Wrestling gear has held up through the long haul

Wrestlers can be a superstitious lot, but they'll also explain that you need to go with what works for you.

So, it should come as no surprise that Brock Picard stuck with what worked for him and his brother over so many years, right down to the shoes and knee pad he wore on the wrestling mat.

The knee pad and wrestling shoes, both made by Asics, have been through thick and thin with the Polson wrestler over the past three years. And they're definitely showing the effects of hundreds of days of wrestling matches and practice sessions, which culminated in three state championships for Brock.

But, then, he didn't get them new either. They were hand-me-downs from his older brother, Bryce, which made them very special indeed. Bryce won two state championships with them and thought they might bring a little luck to Brock.

They did just that. 

Those shoes and knee pads, frayed and developing holes in them, served Bryce and Brock well through five state championships, which surely must be some kind of record for service of wrestling gear. But now they're about to be retired as Brock moves on to college.

"Those shoes and knee pads are so beat up they won't make it through college ... That knee pad is pretty bad and the shoes are about worn through the bottom," Brock explained after last week's state championship in Billings. "I don't think they even make them anymore." 

Brock figures he'll put them downstairs where all of his trophies and medals will reside at home.

Hopefully, he'll give them a good washing before he sticks them on the shelf. If not, his mom might find an even better place to store them.

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